Common Types of Serious Workplace Injuries
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we have provided legal assistance to workers injured in a wide variety of accidents, such as those listed below:
The leading cause of workplace accidents and deaths involve motor vehicles. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 1,354 workers die annually in crashes on public highways, while 358 pedestrian workers are killed each year. Truck drivers, delivery drivers and those who work around vehicles at construction sites, warehouses, ports or terminals are at risk for these serious accidents.
A worker can suffer crushed limbs, head and brain injuries or severe back and spinal cord injuries from working around heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, graders, forklifts, skid steers, hydraulic lifts or cranes. These heavy equipment injuries commonly occur in construction, manufacturing and warehouse work.
Factories and industrial plants can be dangerous places, especially when workers are not properly trained to work safely around machinery or are provided with inadequate protective gear. Some injuries are caused by machinery that is not properly fitted with guards and safety mechanisms, such as emergency stops.
One of the leading causes of injuries for construction workers is falls from ladders, scaffolding or cranes, or through elevator shafts or holes in flooring. Serious injuries can also be suffered from slipping and falling on wet, oily, snowy, icy or uneven floors, and on stairways that lack railings or guards.
Bricks, planks, tools or other heavy materials can fall on construction laborers, while improperly stacked goods may fall on warehouse or factory workers. Falling objects frequently lead to serious head and brain injuries, especially when a worker hasn’t been provided with proper protective gear.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2,000 workers suffer eye injuries each year, with the majority of those injuries caused by flying debris such as metal shavings, wood splinters, shards of brick or glass, and dust or other particulate matter.
Fires and explosions:
Burns, disfigurement and damage to the lungs can result from a fire or explosion in a factory, warehouse or construction site. These serious accidents tend to occur because of the negligent storage or handling of gases, flammable liquids or hazardous chemicals. Frequently, welding can emit sparks that ignite fires.
Unsafe equipment, improper grounding, poor insulation, loose connections or exposed and corroded live wires can lead to severe burn injuries for workers. An electrocution can result in burns to the hands, arms, feet and legs, numbness in the affected body part or possibly fatal cardiac arrhythmia.
Toxic chemical exposure:
Some of the most serious workplace accidents are those that lead to exposure to toxic chemicals. These hazardous materials can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled through the mouth, nose and lungs, causing irritation, burns, poisoning or long-term diseases such as cancer.
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Dangerous Jobs in Chicago and Illinois
It’s well understood that heights, sharp-edged tools, heavy machinery, toxic chemicals, gases, electrical currents and other risks involved with certain jobs make them dangerous. But many workplace accidents in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois can also occur in what would be considered safe “office jobs.”
Among about 5.4 million Illinois workers in 2011, there were 1.7 fatal occupational injuries and 3.6 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers (or 194,400) across a wide variety of industries and state and local government jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Occupations with the Highest Injury Rate
About 1.18 million injuries that occurred at a U.S. jobsite in 2011 required a day or more away from work, the BLS says. Nearly 20 percent of workplace injuries that required days away from work in 2011 occurred among five occupations:
- Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants
- Janitors and cleaners
- Heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers.
Here’s a look at some industry figures from the 2011 reports for Illinois:
Falls, including slipping and tripping accidents, are a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. Transportation accidents, which include car and truck accidents, as well as accidents involving forklifts or similar vehicles, are another leading cause of job-related injury and death. Another factor not to be overlooked is violence, which is a risk in any job that requires contact with the general public, such as the retail trade. Eleven out of 12 work fatalities in Illinois in 2011 were attributed to violence.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious workplace injury as the result of anothers negligent or reckless conduct, the Illinois workplace accident lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., can help. We have offices in Chicago and Waukegan, and we represent clients throughout Illinois. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us today at 312-372-1227 or use our online form.
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